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Illnesses - Ba-Cz

[Bronchiolitis]   [Burns]   [Car Safety Seats]   [Chickenpox]   [Colds in Babies]   [Colds in Older Children]   [Colic]   [Constipation]   [Croup]  


General Information

Bronchiolitis is an infection of the small airways leading to the lungs which causes them to become swollen, decreasing the ability of air to enter and leave the lungs.  This type of illness almost always occurs in the first year of life and produces a wheezing sound while the infant is breathing.

The illness is most commonly caused by respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), especially during the winter months, but may be caused by several other viruses.  The illness starts with a cold for 1-2 days followed by a cough and difficulty breathing, which progresses over 3-5 days and then subsides.  Some infants who have bronchiolitis will later develop asthma.


  1. Provide your baby with the treatment for cold symptoms such as a humidifier, nasal suction, elevation of your infant's head, plenty of liquids, and perhaps an antihistamine and decongestant combination if your doctor recommends it.
  2. Occasionally, an oral medication to open the airways, such as albuterol may be prescribed for your baby.

Call Your Doctor:

Call Your Doctor 1. Your baby has marked difficulty breathing, with "sinking-in" of the areas between the ribs, flaring of the nostrils, a grunting noise while breathing,  or a bluish color around the  lips.
2. Your baby has fever or (if your baby has been seen) if the fever lasts longer than three days.
3. Your baby is not taking liquids very well and shows signs of dehydration.
4. Your child has a heart or lung condition or decreased ability to fight infection (for example, children with cancer, AIDS, or prematurity).



General Information:

Burns cause frequent injuries in adults and children.  Most burns that will occur in your child are mild and can be cared for in your home. The severity of his burn is determined by the amount of his body injured and the depth of his injury.

First degree burns are similar to most sunburns. Her skin is red without blisters and is tender.  Second degree burns cause blister formation, and are more likely to become infected.  They are also quite painful.  In third degree burns, the damage to her skin is so deep that the nerve endings in her skin are destroyed and so she will have no painful feeling at that site.  (However, remember part of her burn at the edges will be only first or second degree and so will be painful).  Third degree burns often show charred skin and usually need hospitalization and skin grafts.

Burns to your child on certain parts of his body are of greater concern even if the size of his burn is small.  Burns on his face pose a cosmetic risk.  Scar formation from burns on his hands and feet can limit function of these sites. Burns in his genital and anal area are prone to infections since the bacterial count is much higher in those areas of his body.


  1. Immediately place her burned skin under cold tap water.  This decreases her pain and decreases the severity of her injury.
  2. If there are a few small blisters on his burned skin, nothing else needs to be done.  Do not open his blisters since this will increase his chance of infection.
  3. If there are large blisters on her skin which have broken or are about to break, then she needs to be examined by her doctor.  The doctor will clean her burn and place an antibacterial cream on her damaged skin. Her dressing will need to be changed in 1 to 2 days.
  4. Acetaminophen may be given him for pain relief.  Codeine may be prescribed by his doctor if his pain is severe.

Call Your Doctor:

Call Your Doctor 1.  She has a sudden increase of pain after a few days.  This may indicate she has an infection.
2.  He has an increase in the amount of redness near his burn.
3.  She has any fever or difficulties with the dressing.



General Information:

More children are seriously injured or killed by automobile accidents than any disease. About 80% of these can be eliminated by the proper use of car seats and restraints. All states have laws requiring children to wear car restraints. In a serious accident an adult cannot safely restrain a child by holding them. Either the adult will release the child at point of impact or crush the child with his or her body when she goes forward. 

Car seats also help to control the child's misbehavior, reduces motion sickness, and reduces the number of car accidents caused by the child distracting the driver.

Since 1981, all safety seats have been required to meet government safety standards. Only choose a seat that has met Federal Motor Vehicle Standard 213; you can also call 1-800-424-9393 to check the safety of your car seat.

Car Seat Usage:

  1. Use an infant car seat until your baby is 20 pounds and able to sit up on his own.
  2. Keep her facing backwards as long as possible since it protects her neck.
  3. When more than 20 pounds he can be in a convertible car seat and face forward.
  4. When she is more than 40 pounds and 40 inches tall she can use a booster seat. 
  5. When he is more than 60 pounds he can use a regular seat belt across his lap.
  6. She needs to be 48 inches tall to use a shoulder strap; otherwise the shoulder strap can cause neck injuries. If the shoulder strap crosses her neck put it behind her until she is taller.
  7. Always put young children in the backseat; in the near future all cars will have airbags in the front seat which can harm a child younger than 12-years-old.
  8. Make sure that everyone in the car is buckled up. Not only is this safer but it also keeps the children from thinking that they can discard the seat belts when they are older.
  9. Keep toys in the car so that your bored child will have something to occupy him.
  10. If a child starts to crawl out of their safety restraints, pull over to the side of the road and refuse to move until the child returns to her car restraints.
  11. Use cloth over the vinyl car seat to make it more comfortable in hot weather; check the hotness of the seat and buckles before you put your child down in one to avoid burns. Consider using a towel or car seat cover if the car is in the sun for extended periods of time.
  12. Plan for frequent stops on long trips to allow children to stretch their legs.



General Information:

Chickenpox is a highly contagious, childhood illness causing fever, mild cough, and a rash composed of small blisters that usually begin on your child's chest, abdomen, or back. These blisters usually progress to cloudy blisters, then open sores, and finally dry crusts in about 2-3 days. However, new blisters continue to appear for several days. Her sores can occur almost anywhere on her body including on her scalp, inside her eyelids, mouth, palms, soles, vaginally, and around her rectum. Her vaginal and rectal blisters can be especially bothersome to her and tend to itch more.

Chickenpox is very contagious, but the course of the illness is usually mild, especially in younger children. Your child usually catches this disease about 2 to 3 weeks before his first blisters appear. Older children usually have more numerous sores than younger children and they are very uncomfortable because of the itching. Adults can become sicker and about 1/4 have chickenpox pneumonia. Routine chickenpox is usually mild but secondary problems can occur. These include skin infections and abscesses, brain inflammation, Reye syndrome, and pneumonia. Aspirin should never be given to your child with chickenpox since it may increase her chance of having Reye syndrome, a deadly cause of brain swelling. The tiny blisters seldom leave permanent scars although it may take 6-12 months for her temporary scars to resolve.


An excellent vaccine for chickenpox has been available for a long time.  The vaccine is effective with minimal side effects. Some children will have a few small blisters near the injection site, an achy feeling, or a mild fever. This vaccine is recommended for children from 12 months and older if they have never had chickenpox.


  1. Antibiotics are not helpful for him unless a secondary skin infection or ear infection has occurred.
  2. A cool bath every few hours will reduce her itching markedly. Calamine after her bath will decrease itching also. If your child is still itching or baths are not practical, then Benadryl should be given by mouth every 6-8 hours. Sleepiness may occur when giving her Benadryl.
  3. Never give aspirin to your child with chickenpox. Acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be given to him.
  4. Let her eat whatever she wants, but do not be surprised if her appetite is reduced because of the sores in her mouth.
  5. Your child should stay away from other children until all his sores have dried out.

Call Your Doctor:

Call Your Doctor 1. She is acting incoherent, stumbling, or has vomited more than once.
2. Affected areas on his skin have progressively become larger, more red, or tender.
3. She develops a rapid respiratory rate and bad coughing.



General Information:

More than 200 different varieties of the common cold exist. All of these illnesses are caused by viruses that usually resolve in a few days in older children.  However, the immune system is not very strong in infants and colds are more than the simple nuisances that they are in older children.

In infants, a simple cold lasts up to 3 weeks. Your infant will tend to be fussier than her symptoms would suggest she ought to be and her appetite and sleeping may be decreased. Babies have a higher rate of complications than do older children. Ear infections frequently occur in young babies with colds since they do not tend to drain their middle ear very well. Pneumonia is a less frequent complication. The cold virus causes your baby's resistance to be lowered so that she can acquire another infection soon after her cold. Babies up to about 6 months of age are nasal breathers and much of their fussiness results from their inability to breathe comfortably. Your baby may also have a sore throat or a headache that increases his fussiness. Since there is no cure, treatment for him is to help decrease his symptoms.


  1. Antibiotics do not help her unless there is a secondary infection such as an ear infection.
  2. A humidifier will keep his mucous looser and will make it easier for him to cough. 
  3. Nasal suctioning with a bulb syringe will clear your baby's passages so that she can breathe easier. If you are having difficulty suctioning her thick mucous, place 2 drops of salt water (1/4 tsp of salt in 1 pint of water) in her nostrils and then suction again. You may suction 6-8 times a day.
  4. Your baby may sleep better in his infant seat sitting up since his mucous will drain better, making it easier for him to breathe.
  5. If she is older than 4 months, your doctor may direct you to give an antihistamine, but this does not work as well in infants as it does in older babies.
  6. If your baby seems to be fussy due to pain, give him some acetaminophen (Tempra, Tylenol, or Panadol, or generic) every 4 hours.
  7. Even after suctioning, your baby may have difficulty breathing due to her swollen nasal passages.  Decongestant nose drops may be suggested by your doctor.  Do not use these drops longer than a few days since rebound congestion may occur when you stop the medicine.

Call Your Doctor:

Call Your Doctor 1. He has a fever of more than 100 degrees rectally.
2. She has increasing fussiness or pus draining from her ears.
3. He has an increasing respiratory rate or difficulty breathing.
4. Her skin has turned darker, especially during coughing spells.
5. He is not as active as he has been.



General Information:

The common cold is an upper respiratory infection caused by any of 200 cold viruses. Cold viruses are spread from person to person through sneezing, coughing, and transfer of the virus on hands or objects. Cold viruses can live on hands, cups, doorknobs, and toys for hours; this is why colds are spread so easily. Colds are more common during winter months,  but are not caused by weather changes or cold temperatures.  It is common for children to develop 6 to 10 colds a year.

The average cold lasts for 10 days. It usually starts with a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, scratchy throat, and sometimes watery eyes. Your child may have a slight fever. After the first few days the nasal discharge may become thicker and yellow in color. A cough occurs due to drainage and irritation of the throat and may linger for up to 2 weeks. If your child has asthma, she may develop wheezing with a cold. Some symptoms, such as sneezing, watery eyes, and clear runny nose also occur with allergies. However, allergies are NOT associated with fever, are not contagious, and are usually seasonal or due to exposure to animals, dust, or other allergens in his life.


  1. Have each child wash her hands frequently, especially after sneezing or blowing her nose.
  2. Have him cover his mouth whenever he coughs or sneezes.
  3. Avoid sharing cups, towels, toothpaste, or eating utensils. Disposable cups may reduce colds.
  4. No smoking in your home because this increases the number and severity of colds.


  1. Antibiotics do not help unless she develops a secondary bacterial infection such as an ear infection or pneumonia.
  2. Offer him lots of fluids. This will thin and loosen his mucous.
  3. Plenty of rest will help her fight her infection better.
  4. A vaporizer or humidifier with plain water may help him to breathe easier at night.
  5. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Panadol, etc.) may be used for fever or discomfort. Do not give her aspirin as it has been associated with Reye syndrome.
  6. Nonprescription cough and cold medicine such as Dimetapp or Pediacare may be helpful.
  7. He should stay home while feverish (usually 1-2 days) to avoid spread to others.

Call Your Doctor:

Call Your Doctor 1. His cold symptoms last longer than 2 weeks, or are getting progressively worse.
2. She develops a fever or a stiff neck.
3. He has persistent ear pain or drainage from his ears.
4. She develops a faster breathing rate, difficulty breathing, or wheezing.



General Information:

Colic is a syndrome of unknown cause which consists of persistent crying in young babies. It may start within days of birth, and is usually gone by 3 months of age. Colic occurs most often in the early evening, but may occur at any time of the day.

Most parents think that colic is caused by gas pains, but anti-gas medicine and pain relievers usually do not help their baby. However, many experts think that a colicky baby is simply very sensitive to stimulation and so he becomes upset easily. Colic is very frustrating for parents because nothing they do seems to help their baby. Many people offer the parents well-meaning advice about what they are doing "wrong" which makes the new parents feel inadequate.  Her colic does not indicate poor parenting and is a limited problem which disappears between 3 and 4 months of age. She will not tend to be more difficult as she ages than the average child. If you have a colicky baby,  a physical exam might be necessary to make sure that he has no other physical problems. An ear infection, sore throat, or viral infection may imitate colic.


  1. Once a week you and your spouse should go out together without your baby who should be  watched by a mature friend, not an inexperienced teenager.
  2. Simethicone (Mylicon) drops (4-6 drops every 4 hours) may help relieve her gas pain.
  3. Acetaminophen (Tempra, Tylenol, Panadol, or generic) should be used if he has signs of a  viral infection (runny nose, cough, or diarrhea) which may cause him to have pain.
  4. Tightly swaddling your baby may decrease her sensory stimulation so that she can  relax more easily. Ask us how to do this if you are not sure.
  5. If he has been fed, burped, changed, and played with, then it does not hurt to let him cry  himself to sleep.
  6. She may act better with steady motion such as with a moving car or a windup swing.
  7. Remember that the symptoms of colic only occur until about 3 months of age and  that it is natural for you to feel angry and disappointed about your baby's fussiness.

Call Your Doctor:

Call Your Doctor 1. He has any temperature greater than 100 degrees rectally.
2. She has any unusual rashes on her skin.
3. He is congested and fussy. Your baby may have an ear infection.



General Information:

Constipation is the painful or difficult passage of large, hard stool that can occur at any age.  The following circumstances are not true constipation: Some people have large, hard stools without difficulty in passing them. Many babies will grunt, strain, and even cry with passage of stool even when the stool is soft. Breast feeding babies will often go for several days or longer between soft bowel movements. These are normal variations on bowel function.

Constipation is caused by having a diet too low in fiber which is contained in most fruits and vegetables and whole grain cereals. Babies become constipated from drinking cow's milk or soy protein formulas instead of breast milk.  Older children have difficulty with bowel movements if they drink too much milk or if they do not drink enough fluids especially during the summer time. Difficulty passing stool can be made worse by a child waiting too long to go to the bathroom which causes the stool to become larger and drier and therefore more difficult to pass.


  1. For babies less than one-year-old, give fruit juices such as apple, grape, or prune juice from two months and older. Do not give citrus juices such as orange, lemon, lime, or pineapple because they may lead to increased problems with asthma or allergies when he is older.
  2. If your baby is 4 months or older give foods with a high fiber content such as cereals, apricots, prunes, pears, plums, beans, peas, or spinach twice a day. Stay away from carrots, squash, bananas, and apples which have a lower fiber content.
  3. For children older than one year, give your child fruits or vegetables three times a day, especially if they are uncooked and unpeeled. The best foods include prunes, figs, dates, raisins, peaches, pears, apricots, beans, celery, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. Make sure that your child is old enough to chew these up.
  4. Increase bran in your child's diet by giving bran flakes, bran muffins, shredded wheat, graham crackers, oatmeal, high fiber cookies, brown rice, or whole wheat bread.
  5. Decrease consumption of constipating foods such as milk, ice cream, cheese, and yogurt.
  6. Increase the amount of water that your child drinks.
  7. Have your child regularly sit on the toilet for ten minutes every day after a meal attempting to have  a regular bowel movement pattern.
  8. For older children a stool softener without a prescription such as Maltsupex, Metamucil, or mineral oil will help without being habit-forming like laxatives.
  9. For babies with hard stools, taking his temperature with a rectal thermometer covered with lots of Vaseline will help stimulate him to have a bowel movement.
  10. One-half a glycerine suppository can be given to your baby 1-2 times a day for three days. After gently inserting the suppository hold your baby's cheeks together for a few minutes to allow the suppository to melt. This will lubricate the hard stool and help your baby pass the stool.
  11. Do not use enemas on your child. They can cause rectal tears especially in babies which can cause severe, life-threatening infections. Older children can feel violated by parents becoming too aggressive with enemas.

Call Your Doctor:

Call Your Doctor 1. Your child has severe pain with constipation.
2. Your child does not have a bowel movement after 3-4 days following these recommendations.
3. Your older child keeps soiling his underwear.
4. Constipation becomes a recurrent problem.



General Information:

Croup is a viral infection that causes swelling of your child's trachea (windpipe) near the voice box, resulting in a barking cough, hoarseness, sore throat, and crowing when she breathes in (stridor). She may or may not have a fever.
The younger your child is or the more effort he uses to breathe, the more dangerous his illness is. The severity of his cough is usually not an important measure of the seriousness of his croup. Symptoms usually become worse at night and the worst of his coughing will usually occur from the first through the third day of his illness.


  1. A vaporizer or humidifier will help keep mucous thin.
  2. During coughing spasms, take your child into your bathroom, turn on the hot water, and let him sit in your lap and breathe the steamy vapors which may open his airways and allow easier breathing.
  3. If your child is older, soups and warm, clear liquids will soothe her throat. Do not give her milk or dairy products immediately before bed since they might thicken her mucous.
  4. An antihistamine usually is not very helpful and should not be tried unless your child is older than 2 years.
  5. Try to keep your child calm. Crying will tend to make her breathing more difficult.

Call Your Doctor:

Call Your Doctor 1. Your child has not been examined yet; croup in young children and babies is a very serious and often, life-threatening illness and your child needs to be evaluated.
2. He has worsening respiratory distress after being evaluated by your doctor.
3. She complains of chest pain or ear pain; these might indicate pneumonia or ear infection.
4. He has persistent fever above 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. She has high fever, needs to sit up to breathe, and is drooling.
6. He has inspiratory crowing all the time even when he is resting.
7. She looks scared all the time even when she is breathing alright.
8. Any other signs that your child is becoming worse.



The information contained within this website is no substitution for timely medical care.

Feel free to copy the information on this web site and give to friends and family. Contact Dr. Glenn Wood at
Carousel Pediatrics (512) 744-6000 We are located at 7112 Ed Bluestein Blvd., #100 - Austin, TX 78723

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